If you live near Oak and Scott, and have ever realized you were about to show up to a friend’s dinner party empty-handed, you’ve probably popped into Oak Fair Market to pick up a bottle of wine.
Or if you’ve ever decided to make a grilled cheese at 9pm and discovered – DAMMIT! – you’re out of cheddar, you’ve probably scurried down to Oak Fair Market.
Oak Fair is a convenience store, conveniently located on Oak Street at the corner of Scott Street, right on our friend, the Wiggle. Those who live nearby are extremely loyal to this neighborhood staple.
The owner, often called “Jack” by locals, is actually named Wakeem Shehadeh. And as you’ll notice from our interview with him, he’s a very kind man of very few words.
Haighteration: Where are you from originally?
Shehadeh: I’m from the Middle East. From Palestine.
H: How long have you been in the United States?
S: I’ve been in the United States a little over thirty years.
H: And how long has Oak Fair Market been around?
S: Oak Fair Market’s been around for twenty-one years.
H: When is your store the busiest?
S: Usually in the afternoons. During the weekdays, from open til close is about even, but weekends, it’s afternoons.
H: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened in your store?
S: Well something super crazy… never did happen. But now and then, you know, things up and down, but nothing very serious happened here.
H: Do you live in the neighborhood.
S: No, I live in Milbrae.
H: How come you chose to have your store here in the Lower Haight?
S: This store was for sale and I ended up buying it.
H: How do you feel about the changes in the Lower Haight?
S: I’m very very satisfied with Lower Haight. I’ve seen a lot of improvements and I’m very happy. I’m very happy that Western Addition is improving a lot. Since I’ve been here for twenty-one years, I’ve seen some good changes.
H: Is there anything else you want people to know about Oak Fair Market or you?
S: My shop is welcome to anybody and especially my neighbors around here. I’m more than happy to serve them with a smile.
Thanks to Wakeem for taking the time to chat with us. Have some good stories about Wakeem or Oak Fair Market? Share them in the comments.